POC Brings New Age Twist to the Buffet in Coral Gables
Owner Will Lin, who beamed as he shook the hands of his guests, should be excited about the energy and liveliness of the grand opening. With nearly every seat taken in the house, the staff performed well on the first of what will hopefully be many busy nights. They were accommodating, polite, and attentive. The buffet runners replenished food quickly, efficiently, and unobtrusively.
There are two seating areas in addition to the bar consisting of linen-covered tables and booths around the perimeter. The large, plush booths are tall enough to provide privacy. And despite the packed house, noise was not an issue. The decor is subtle, with a palate of neutral colors covering the walls and floor. And the lighting is just right. It's bright where it needs to be: the buffet.
Original rolls include the Coral Gables roll, cream cheese, crab meat, mango, and orange. His Manhattan roll, inspired by his time working at Nobu in New York City, includes tuna, yellow tail snapper, salmon, and cream cheese. "And, of course, everything is made in house. Spicy mayo... dressings."
Executive Chef Johnny Hong Kong, who was nicknamed by chef and restaurateur David Burke, spoke about his origins in the kitchen beginning at age fifteen. His background includes learning French, Italian, Chinese, and Kosher cuisine, working at Balthazar and The Oak Room in New York, and opening a number of David Burke's restaurants. He said that the concept for POC began more than four years ago. "I began writing things down... a lot of my own recipes," he says. One of his original recipes includes the beef carpaccio flavored with grain of paradise pepper from Africa and tataki spice.
|Executive Chef Johnny HK & Executive Sushi Chef Kevin Z.|
The menu is expansive and has a little something for everyone. It might have been a concept four years in the making, but the evolution of POC is ongoing. Chef Johnny hasn't stopped perfecting his recipes, and Annibal Vega aimed to please by soliciting guest feedback. Here's to hoping Chef Johnny's cheesecake in a waffle cone passes the tests and hits the buffet sooner rather than later!
POC American Fusion Buffet & Sushi
2121 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables